Topic: Rereātea - Midday News

Educators join forces to help free Kiwi kids from poverty

By Online News - Rereātea

Educators are calling for urgent cross-party talks to finally get rid of child poverty among our Kiwi kids.

The New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI) together with Child Poverty Action Group and the Child Wellbeing Network is endorsing a non-partisan solution with Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft.

NZEI president Lynda Stuart says political differences shouldn't stand in the way of children’s rights to an education and live free of poverty.

School staff sees how the lack of food and inadequate medical care affects children’s education and leaders must work together to fix the issue.

"Some of the cases are heartbreaking. We see sick children, hungry children and some who live in cold, damp, overcrowded houses. We see how transience, lack of food in the fridge and inadequate medical care affects their education.”

The OECD has repeatedly singled New Zealand out for failing to address the shocking impact that poverty has on our children's education. Disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes.

"Poverty is a major problem that is preventing thousands of children from achieving success in education. As a nation, we can afford to help families free themselves from the cycle of poverty, and change the direction of children's lives. We need to work quickly and collaboratively to fix this.”